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Local Contest part of effort to mobolize children across America to write and illustrate their own stories

PITTSBURGH, PA EQT Presents the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest with WQED Pittsburgh, a national competition designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. The effort encourages children in grades K-3 in Pittsburgh and communities across the country, to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original stories and illustrations.

This contest marks the 16th year WQED has conducted a writing contest for area youth and the second year EQT has provided sponsorship for the contest. “We know from research that there is an important connection between writing and the development of early literacy skills, critical cornerstones for school readiness and achievement,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS. “PBS KIDS GO! uses the power of media to open up the worlds of letters and words for all children, encouraging them to explore ways to communicate more effectively.”

WQED will actively partner with schools, public libraries and other literacy organizations to implement the Contest. Children will be encouraged to write and illustrate stories and submit them to WQED, which will select winners and award prizes. First place local winners will be entered into the national level of the Contest where a renowned panel of judges will identify the national winners. Winners will be announced and national prizes, including laptops, digital cameras and MP3 players will be awarded in summer 2010.

Underwriting from EQT will support WQED’s local contest. “EQT thrives on innovation, and we have always valued and supported education, so finding and participating in programs like the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest that blend the two is a natural for us,” said Charlene Petrelli, president of the EQT Foundation. “We’ve already taken a leadership role in the natural gas industry, and it makes sense that we would participate in a big way to help our communities, and especially the children, take advantage of creative programs that will help them grow and thrive right along with us.”

“Kids naturally have a keen sense of curiosity and incredible imaginations,” said Deborah L. Acklin, Chief Operating Officer at WQED.The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest will provide a safe virtual community forum for Pittsburgh children to express their ideas while fostering key early literacy skills such as story-telling.”

Applications and additional information have been available as of February 10 on http://www.wqed.org/education/writers_contest/index.php. In addition, a new PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest Web site at pbskids.org/read will launch in early 2010. It will include the winning stories in each of the Contest categories, as well as a searchable archive.

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest extends the powerful tradition and annual success of the 15 year national “Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest,” originally created by WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto and NET Nebraska. The new Contest is produced by WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and PBS.

“WNED is proud to continue its leadership role in literacy for public television through the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest,” said WNED President and CEO Donald K. Boswell. “Building on the important legacy of Reading Rainbow, this new contest ushers the powerful mission of our programs directly into the homes and classrooms of the community, motivating young students to create and imagine.”

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is produced by WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and PBS, and is part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national initiative which uses the power of public media to build the reading skills of children ages 2-to-8, with an emphasis on children from low-income families. The effort is funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS and The Ready To Learn Partnership.

About WQED

WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

About EQT

EQT Corporation is the largest natural gas producer in the Appalachian Basin, and one of the largest in the country. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and operating in four states – Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – the company is committed to meeting the country’s growing demand for clean energy, promoting safety, providing a rewarding workplace, and using its resources to enrich the communities where its employees live and work. To learn more about EQT, visit www.eqt.com


PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s children’s media and family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, PBSKIDS.org, PBSKIDSGO.org, PBS Parents (PBSPARENTS.org), PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. In September 2008, PBS KIDS GO! launched its video player (PBSKIDSGO.org/video), featuring hundreds of video clips and dozens of full-length episodes. Since launch, the site is averaging 1.3 million streams per week. PBSKIDS.org averages nine million unique visitors a month. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math, and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.

About WNED

The Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED) long ago established itself as an originator of television content for PBS. WNED is the founder and national co-producer of the Reading Rainbow series which garnered a total of 26 Emmy Awards, ten of which were for “Outstanding Children’s Series.” WNED was the producer of the popular Mark Russell Comedy Specials for PBS and is a producer of major documentaries for PBS national distribution. A series of WNED documentaries (Your Life Your Money, Window to the Sea, Niagara Falls, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo, The Marines, The Adirondacks, Fort Niagara: The Struggle for a Continent) have been broadcast nationally on PBS since 2005. Elbert Hubbard: An American Original is WNED’s next PBS production and is scheduled for broadcast on November 23, 2009. WNED is currently producing several documentaries slated for national PBS broadcast in the coming years including the War of 1812 and a special on the Chautauqua Institution.

About CPB

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, which is funded in part by a Ready To Learn grant, in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The contents of these contest rules were developed under a grant, #PRU295B050003, from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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Additional documents:
Writing Guide - Guide for teachers and parents to assist with writing and illustrating entries



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